IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Reputation in the Market for Stolen Data


  • Andrew Mell


Internet commerce has made it easier to compare prices and shop online. However, it has also exposed consumers to a new kind of crime in the form of the electronic theft of payment details. However the skills required to successfully intercept payment data differ from the skills required to use that information for one’s own gain. This creates gains to trade between those who steal the data and those who know how to use it. This particular illicit market has the added disadvantage that trade takes place online and the only identification of any paticular trader comes from a username which can be changed at zero cost. This paper examines the reputation mechanisms that keep this market working and considers whether they might constitute an Achilles’ Heel that governments keen to reduce crime might exploit.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Mell, 2012. "Reputation in the Market for Stolen Data," Economics Series Working Papers 611, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:611

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jonathan Lusthaus, 2012. "Trust in the world of cybercrime," Global Crime, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(2), pages 71-94, May.
    2. Michihiro Kandori, 1992. "Social Norms and Community Enforcement," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 63-80.
    3. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Reputation; Illicit trade; Illegal behavior and the enforement of law;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • Z18 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Public Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:611. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anne Pouliquen). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.